It is important that your child is able to be involved in decisions and choices that affect them. All children are able to express their views. Some people might find this challenging however everything possible should be done to find out your child’s views. You can be a key person in helping them do this.
This section looks at how your child can express their views about their education and make sure that all people working with them understand what they want.
No matter what stage your child is at on the Graduated Response, there may be times that they feel anxious or confused about school or nursery and allowing them to express their views can help with this. Listening to children should be an on-going process throughout their education.
Children can get involved with setting Individual Education Plan (IEP) targets, formal assessment, Annual Reviews, transition planning, choosing a school or deciding what out-of-school activities they’d like to do. It is important that, as far as is possible, your child is enabled to understand what is happening and why.
For example, if your child has an IEP, they should know what an IEP is and why they have one. They should also have an understanding of the targets and be able to get feedback about their progress. This can be achieved by trying to include the child in IEP review meetings and by presenting the IEP in a format that the child can understand.
Similarly, children and young people should have the opportunity to be involved in Annual Reviews and Transition Planning.
Ways your child can give their views
- Symbols on paper
- Symbols in a questionnaire
- Words that are dictated by the child and written down by someone else
- Recording their views onto a CD, DVD, tape or video
- Communication aids - such as computer speech synthesisers
- Words that have been translated from another language, including BSL
The Inclusion Support Service has produced a questionnaire that either you or someone else can work through with your child.
There is also the Cool Kids project. This is a County wide project for children with SEN and disabilities aged 5-13. It aims to give children a voice and allow them to express their views. It meets monthly and produces a comic produced by and for children and young people with SEN and disabilities. For further information, contact Deb Alvey on tel: 0115 9482 888 or go to www.cool-kids.org.uk